Secord In Song: Rosalee Peppard

 
 

'Laura Secord' - Rosalee Peppard (2004)

 
 

Through a variety of musical voices - from folk to blues to opera - she sings of love, literacy, triumph over loss and shame, heritage, and humour, all soaring on Rosalee's shimmering voice, self-accompanied on guitars and mountain dulcimer. Rosalee connects listeners with a poignant, living past and reminds us of its "presents". She colours each show with traditional and popular songs which are generously "peppered" with wit!

Rosalee writes of her song:

"Laura Secord" is my 2004 song from Laura's first person perspective of her "walk". I think it is the only song from this perspective. It opens with sounds of running through the woods and then "Laura! Laura! Laura!" which is in a musical theme one would associate with First Nations - thus connecting Laura with the Caughnawaga nation throughout the song.

The irony is that Laura and the First Nation warriors made the difference that changed Canadian history, but, in the eyes of the 19th century, Fitzgibbon and his British officers (who never fired a shot in the Battle of Beaverdams) were the credited heroes because she was "just" a woman and they but "red skins" - at that time in history, not "persons", let alone heroes.



LAURA SECORD

Music & lyrics by Rosalee Peppard on "Legacy" CD (SOCAN, 2004)


Laura, Laura, Laura...

My name is Laura Secord
I am running for my life
The war is raging at my door
With musket,drum and fife
My husband lay there wounded
And the enemy's within
Snapping at my children
While I run for FitzGibbon

My name is Laura Secord
I am running night and day
12 wooded miles behind me
God, lead the way
To Beaver Dams, FitzGibbon
And the men who'll set us free
I must not rest for in my breast
I know it's up to me

My name is Laura Secord
I am running though I die
My flesh is torn and bleeding
My throat is parched and dry
Still I will press on boldly
To give FitzGibbon news
The enemy is coming
There is no time to lose

My name is Laura Secord
I am standing face to face
With fierce and mighty warriors
Unknown to me by race
I taste the bitter bile of fear
Yet here I stand my ground
"I?ve come to warn FitzGibbon!
Take me where he can be found!"

My name is Laura Secord
The battle now is o'er
My news had armed FitzGibbon
Caughnawaga won the war
He brandishes a Colonel's rank
And credit for the win
But I am "just a woman"
And they but "red skin"

Laura, Laura, Laura...

My name is Laura Secord
I am running out of time
At 65 though still alive
My body and my mind
Still feel the ache; neglect can take
A silent spoil of war
And now I am a widow
Wondering what my run was for

I ran to save my husband
On Brock's bloody battlefield
I ran to save my children
And the future they would yield
I ran to save my country
I ran till I was lame
But now that I've stopped running
Who?ll remember my name

Laura, Laura, Laura...

My name is Laura Secord
Reward has come at last
Prince Edward sent 100 pounds
To recognize my past
But now at 85, I thrive on irony
So I'll pour a dram for who I am
And raise a glass to me!